clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Twinkie Town roundtable: The staff really loved Doug Mientkiewicz

New, 4 comments

The staff answers

Orioles v Twins X Mientkiewicz

In case you missed the first couple, this a new(ish) series here at Twinkie Town, where I ask the staff a question, and they weigh in, in a short(ish) paragraph. This week we asked “Who was your first favorite Twin?”

★ ★ ★

Kyle Edelbrock

My first favorite and always favorite Twins player was Brad Radke. Throwing 90mph meat balls right down the heart of the plate thanks to his #filthy #nasty circle changeup of the gods. Would have been the best changeup in the league if he didn’t play at the same time as Pedro Martinez. If Radke got out of the first inning you were set for the night.

Also, did you know that Brad Radke’s right arm fell off during the playoff run in 2006? HIS THROWING ARM LITERALLY FELL OFF, AND HE STILL THREW 161 INNINGS AND STARTED A PLAYOFF GAME. Seriously. If you see a picture of him now and it looks like he has his right arm, it’s because the #cheappohlads paid for a great prosthetic so that Brad wouldn’t sue for compensation.

★ ★ ★

Marea

My first favorite Twins player was Kent Hrbek. When I was in kindergarten, he came in 2nd in MVP voting and was quite the badass as I started really getting into baseball. I will say that he barely edges out Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti, and Tom Brunansky for the honor as my first Twins love. I recognize that this answer is probably pretty cliché for those of us that grew up in the 80’s - what kind of currently middle-aged Minnesotan wouldn’t have Hrbek or Puckett as their top first favorite Twins player? My dad used to get tickets sort of in between first and right field so that my sister and I could be by both - Hrbek and Bruno. I just said on Instagram last week that the silver lining to the lack of MLB right now is getting to see these guys play again - and I get to show my kids the guys that are the equivalent to Joe Mauer and Max Kepler to them.

★ ★ ★

TeamCrazyMatt

Growing up near New Britain, I adopted several favorite Twins players by watching them in Double-A ball before their ascension to the majors. While my personal favorite is Justin Morneau, my first favorite was Doug Mientkiewicz. I don’t remember much about his time in New Britain except that he batted third and had a really cool last name. (For similar reasons, I was always an A.J. Pierzynski fan as well.) Seeing Morneau take over first base from Mientkiewicz in 2004 was somewhat bittersweet, but as Morneau is my favorite and Mientkiewicz ended up with a ring that year, all is well.

★ ★ ★

Brandon Brooks

Easy answer for me: Carlos Gomez. I spent many years not giving a solitary hoot about sports, until one year - for whatever reason - I became fascinated by the idea of baseball. I wound up watching old Twins Classics games in February and March and slowly piecing together the rules (“Aha! You can get an out by catching it before it bounces!”). That was the spring of 2008, and who should have just arrived on the scene but this speedy, scrappy, bat-sniffing center fielder. Gomez was weird, and he was electric, and immediately endeared me to himself and the team at large - not least of all because 22 was my favorite number.

★ ★ ★

James Fillmore

When I first started following the Twins, my favorite player was Doug Mientkiewicz. An article I read quoted Tom Kelly as saying Mientkiewicz never had a negative word about his teammates; “only himself. Only himself.” I’m an internationally-recognized Grandmaster of Self-Doubt, so I empathized.

Then, of course, Doug got traded to the Red Sox while Boston was playing here, so that became a nice farewell when he came out for the next game. Funny thing — Mientkiewicz caught the final throw to first when Boston “reversed the curse” to win the Series. Nobody asked for the ball, so he kept it, and then the Sox made a big deal about it. (He later gave it to the HOF). The Onion wrote a satirical version of this story from the ball’s perspective.

★ ★ ★

imakesandwichesforaliving

I really got into the Twins in the early 00s when I was a kiddo. I’m not sure if I would call him a favorite, but Doug Mientkiewicz always comes to mind. He was part of a crazy trade and got sent to the Boston Red Sox in the middle of 2004. My family was at a lake house and I woke up with that day’s Star Trib next to me with the headline that Mientkiewicz was traded and I was bummed. At least he won a ring!

★ ★ ★

Jon Gamble

My very first favorite player was Johan Santana. As a kid getting my first pack of baseball cards, I was shuffling through them and trying to figure out what his name was. I was informed of the pronunciation, and then informed that it roughly translated to “Jon”. That was what started my love for Santana; the fact that he was an all-time great pitcher on the mound reinforced it later on.

★ ★ ★

TJ Gorsegner

I mentioned it in my post yesterday, but my favorite player, as a little kid, was Kirby Puckett. In tee-ball, the coach asked us what position we wanted to play, and of course I said outfield, like Kirby. Probably didn’t help that my coach (great guy otherwise) was a White Sox fan. As a late-eighties baby, I missed one World Series and had just vague memories of the second, but to a young, impressionable Twins fan in the early nineties, Kirby was the greatest player in the world, no doubt.


What about you—who was your first favorite Twin? Let us know in the comments